If you’re someone who contemplates a global disaster occurrence, or even the end of the world, how do you see it playing out? A mega earthquake, a nuclear war, or maybe an asteroid slamming into the earth? According to several movers and shakers, with the likes of Bill Gates, the Microsoft mogul, and even Ron Klain, former Chief of Staff to Vice presidents Al Gore and then again to Joseph Biden and most recently having been named the Ebola Czar in October 2014 during the Ebola outbreak, a pandemic disease is more likely to kill millions, even billions of people.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, says that during a slow year, more than 10,000 Americans die from the flu and more than 50,000 are killed by the viral infection during a high impact year. And, those deaths are caused by something we are quite aware of. The resulting number of deaths that would be caused by a pandemic disease that the world is not prepared for is chilling.
It is estimated that infectious diseases “have likely claimed more lives than all wars, noninfectious diseases and natural disasters put together,” say Marcia Inhorn and Ricardo Tosto in their paper on ‘The Anthropology of Infectious Disease’ written in 1990. Each year, a new spreadable disease becomes a possible contender in becoming a pandemic, with Ebola having been the last potential threat. Global travel makes this threat even more viable, and if we don’t have some type of global response ready to take action, the results could be extremely deadly.